Two months ago I defended my dissertation. Two months ago I finished teaching. Two months ago I graduated. Two months ago I closed a seven-years-long chapter.
Today there is a haze hanging over Seattle, as wildfire smoke blows South from British Columbia. Today the Blue Angels disrupt our skies and demand we acknowledge militarism. Today I am hiding from the heat in my basement apartment and making sure my pet doesn’t overheat.
Next week, I begin a new chapter. I am trusting my gut – leaving academia to find work that better aligns with my skills and passions. I am a people person, a connector. I am a writer and an educator. I am a convener and an event planner. I am passionate about making philanthropy more equitable, passionate about learning how places impact the work we do, passionate about critical thinking and inquiry.
I’m joining the team at Philanthropy Northwest to make philanthropy more equitable, effective and responsive across the Northwest. We support a huge range of members: from tiny grassroots community foundations to large corporate philanthropies. From family foundations to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I will be network mapping and weaving all of these organizations, figuring out synergies and overlaps, shared values and interests. I will be listening and learning, facilitating and collaborating. I will be wearing many hats: something I love. And, I will be working at an organization led by women of color, that is paying a living wage, where I can be independent but not my own boss.
A few years ago, I identified that place was more important to me than career. I chose not to pursue an academic career, at least not at the expense of uprooting and moving. I dug into the process of graduate school instead of the outcomes. And it has paid off: I have landed in a position that feels like a perfect fit of my skills: relationship building, education, program management, facilitation, event planning… I am thrilled.
Here is to the 9-5. To having a boss. To set schedules and flex time when needed. To routine and no more grading papers. To publishing if I want to, rather than because my career depends on it. To new institutional norms and navigations. To colleagues and health care benefits. To an easy commute. To learning a TON and diving into something new. To making impact and connecting to purpose. Here we go!